Relationship

Bride Price: Yea or Nay

This is a Guest Post.

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Dont get it twisted, love is a beautiful thing! That was the verdict passed by our very own DBanj. What the koko crooner failed to add, however, is that the beauty of love fades away at the point of marriage, at least in Africa. Marriage, which should be the apex of love affairs, has become a sad albatross in the love adventure simply because of the many barriers we put in the way all in the name of tradition. Oh, how I hate that word with perfect hatred! I am speaking here in reference to the many stages of marriage rites in African cultures which discourage rather than strengthen marriage. The worst and pivotal part of these rites of passage is the payment of bride price to obtain the lady and have her for keeps.

Before putting my pen to paper, I floated the idea of the termination of bride price payment before a random cross-section of people of different age groups and traditional and educational leanings. Most of the responses I got toed the line of How dare you! bordering on even the mere thought of it being an anathema. I am utterly astonished that even educated folks who should be more enlightened, having gone through the scholastic rigours of the Ivory Tower, including and especially youths like me, have a hard time questioning the status quo. Its amazing how people just take traditions that have been handed down for generations and continue to propagate them without stopping to think about why exactly we do what we do.

Regardless of whichever tribe you hail from, you will readily agree with me that the man spends money ‘toasting’ the girl. He spends money for introduction (which they call knocking on the door) to inform the brides family of his intentions formally in the presence of his own family. He spends money for bride price. He spends money for traditional wedding. He very likely also spends money for the so-called white wedding in the church or mosque (without which most Christian and Muslim congregations will not endorse the marriage). There are also some who spend money on court wedding. All these, of course, involve several hidden charges apart from the expenses blown away on logistics. By the time processes are completed and conditions fulfilled, the couple is already deep in debt or thin on finances. Meanwhile, the girls family is happy to have been enriched by some lump sum.

Now, shall we tell ourselves and each other the truth, that this family neither loves you nor has your best interests at heart? How can people who claim to love you derive so much pleasure in milking you dry? Sometimes I think it is the failure of the intending couple to stand their ground and call their families bluffs that makes parents seem so able to wreck a marriage. Even if a parent from either side is quite troublesome, theres no child who doesnt know the weak points of his or her parents. Do you really think your families can run your marriage successfully? It is a lie! Gone are those days when people simply did what their parents or priests of whatever form wanted. These days, you decide what you want and do it.

So where do we go from here? First, I suggest parents should be reminded that they are the ones who should lay up treasures for their children, not the other way round. Their children are their legacy to the world. They should give to, not take from, their children. Put your money where your mouth is. Theres no need to place greater burden than necessary on a man whos perhaps already spent a lot of himself trying to impress your daughter. Thats a sure way to be respected by the couple: let parents sponsor the wedding, having certified that the couple has a means of comfortable livelihood. I think the Yoruba in Nigeria do that wellreturn the bride price and sponsor the wedding (not that there are no heavy hidden charges, though).

Second, we should realise that civilisation has changed the world. If you listen well, you will hear the man tell the brides father, I have come to pluck this flower from your garden, or something like that. We must learn to question preconceived notions. There was a time when girls stayed with their parents till it was time to marry. These days, ladies relocate, often far from their parents, because of work. How, then, do you pluck a flower from a garden that has it no more? The payment of bride price is obsolete because the flower is no more in its fathers field.

Third, the intending couple should decide that they, not their parents, will choose how to wed and maintain the marriage. If the essence of traditional marriage is parental blessing, white wedding is for spiritual blessing, and court wedding for state blessing, then why not have one occasion where all three get covered and save expenses? We need but one wedding, not three. Save the money for better uses. Besides, parents dont choose who their daughters should marry anymore, and so they should not be paid for their daughters hand in marriage.

Permit me to state succinctly that you own what you pay for. If the woman has been bought at a [bride] price, then shes no better than my jeep or tv set. Bride price payment is one denigrating tradition that immediately places the woman at a disadvantage. If you dont realise it, go find out from the typical village culture and youll easily agree that the woman never questions the mans orders. She is no different from a maid. This is the reason a man whose wife also goes to work would expect her to cook his food no matter how tired she may be, even if he has more spare time. Dont tell me that she will be valued because she was paid for; its the same way a jeep will be valued till its youth expiresas the womans surely will.

Guys, dont let the girls father bully you by saying he spent a lot on her upbringing; your parents probably spent even more to bring you up as a responsible man. Girls, dont let your parents delay your marriage with their bad belle. If they are too greedy to forgo outdated tradition in order to make you happy, then walk away from them and elope with your man. If anything goes wrong in your marriage and you have to go back to them, they cannot reject you; plus, they wont need to bother about raising the bride price to return to the mans family. More importantly, have your personal stable source of income so you dont have reason to return to them. Let them curse till their mouths are bent like the scimitar and their throats dry like the Sahara; nothing will touch you under the cover of your husbands love. You belong to him, not them.

Nobody will live your life for you. In the final analysis, you will have to bear the consequences of your actions. Dont sacrifice your happiness on the altar of your fathers foolishness. Show him that you have a mind of your own. Live your [love] life to the fullest. You owe no one any explanation for that.

Beeßee

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Relationship

5 Habits of People Who Cheat

The world has become so complex today that to actually find a partner who doesn’t cheat is becoming increasingly tougher by the day. Truthfully, no one goes into a relationship with a guy/girl who would cheat on them. For example, 70% of the ladies I speak to, tell me that their greatest turn off in a relationship is a guy who cheats. Now do not get me wrong, I’m in no way implying that its only guys that cheat, ‘cos we all know that both guys and girls cheat alike. However, it’s really not easy to spot a cheater, as there’s no sure-fire way to know who would and would not cheat/. Relationships vary and people have several reasons why they cheat.

Even with the fact that there are different ways to cheat as well as different reasons why people cheat; there are a several traits that habitual cheaters share in common. A few of these habits would be looked at below.

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*They are glued to Their Phone

Being glued to their phone is a common habit of people who cheat. They always ensure that they do not let their phone out of their sight. If you notice a change in phone habit, then that’s a very bad sign that something’s gone wrong somewhere. Phone calls are usually taken away from your presence, at odd hours, spending hours on the phone and they you don’t have an idea of why or what they’re discussing about, speaking in hushed tones over the phone are not very good signals. Although, it’s always best to take time and find out the truth before running into conclusion.

*They Suddenly Become All Loved Up

Now, it’s not a crime to be all-loved up in a relationship but it’s a problem when it just happens suddenly. Alright, I believe in miracles but our God is not a God of confusion. Truthfully, cheaters in a bit to keep their partners in the dark, try to shower with so much love, so that your mind doesn’t even imagine they would be playing any ‘away’ match. Some of them also do this because of the guilt they may be feeling in their heart. Rob Alex says ‘I think the one beginning sign your partner is cheating is that they are overly affectionate to you. If all of a sudden, they start acting totally different in their affection toward you, it could be a sign’.

*Their Sex Life becomes Different

Away from the normal stream of thought that an individual who cheats is usually starved of sex at home, some people just cheat because they don’t see themselves having sex with just one person. You see this gets me thinking, like why do they even marry in the first place then but marriage is not just about sex , is it? Nikki Martinez says that ‘often when a partner is cheating, they will become more sexual than they have in a long time’. Sometimes, it results in some of them having greater drive for sex and wanting to last longer than usual during sex. The problem that arises from this is that, they tend to want to compare their wives to the other (more energetic and skilled) girls they sleep outside, the result; lack of sexual satisfaction with their partners and invariably more sexual escapades.

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Photo Credit: Shuttershock

*They Lie More Times than They Eat

Well, this is an unavoidable and predictable habit of someone who cheats. Cheaters tend to lie with impunity and they know they have to do this to protect their secret life. Show me a cheater who doesn’t lie and I’ll show you a whore who doesn’t sleep with men. Just like Roger says ‘If you catch your partner in one hurtful lie, chances are that’s not the only one’. It’s being said that one lie leads to another lie. Cheating partners lie about where they go, what they are talking about on phone, who their friends are, etc.

*They Suddenly Get Over-protective of You

In every relationship, there’s surely going to be some form of jealousy (which sometimes snowballs into suspicion), especially from partners who are very emotional but these things come from partners who are cheaters. Now, this is because cheaters sometimes make it a habit to keep close tabs on their partner, especially if they fear that their partner may also break the trust between them, being that they are guilty of the same crime. I remember meeting someone who refused to allow his partner do any paid work because he feared that men in the corporate world may sweep his wife off her feet and date her; just the same way he did to other ladies, as a man in the corporate world. In other words, if your partner suddenly starts becoming over-protective, you need to watch it.

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of cheaters and different reasons why people cheat, so the issue of cheating always has to be handled with understanding. There really is no standard solution to the solve the problem of cheating, but with love, patience, and understanding between partners, the problem of cheating can always be resolved.

 

Relationship

10 Ways To Make Your Marriage Rock

Marriage they say is not  bed of roses. You have to keep working at it to make it work. Your marriage would turn out as beautiful as you make it. Trust, Understanding, Love,etc. are some of the basic ground rules that can make a marriage work. However, there are other activities that you can enagage in to make that marriage to work and rock.

1. Men need three things . Before we got married, a good friend of the family gave me HERfavorite advice and it stuck. From Dr. Laura’s bookThe Care and Feeding of Husbands, she told me men need three things: food, sex, and a girlfriend. In other words, their needs are not usually as complicated {some are, but that’s another post…}. I made sure to remember the first two often, but the “girlfriend” part is important. While you can and will be “the mom” of the house, no man wants to be married to his mom, so don’t be one to him. This thought has stopped me multiple times from turning into that naggy mom that I can be to my 3 year old all day, and causes me to see him as my boyfriend, my partner, who needs attention from me as his friend, and no one else.

2. Pray together every day . when we got home from our honeymoon, and we were settling in for the night that first night back to reality, we climbed into bed, and my sweet husband went straight to his knees. he asked if i would pray with him. that’s the man i married . Lord first, us second, everything else comes after. we rarely sleep without praying together, and that alone has been such a strength for both of us through times that have been difficult.

3. A love note board. The first year we were married, we lived at my husband’s grandpa’s house. He needed a house sitter, and we needed a place to stay. It was cheap, full of their things, and we didn’t care one bit. Love notes were all over the house, hiding in cupboards, on the bathroom mirrors… there was a lot of love there and it was obvious. I was getting to know his family through the love they literally left behind. I found a little magnet white board at target and brought it home and wrote a love note on it for him to find, and the next morning, he had changed it to put his own love note… we still use the same little white board to help build each other up. sometimes he will put a scripture, sometimes it’s a “thank you for….” and sometimes it’s a “good luck drinking all that water!” a smile a day is good for the soul, and very good for the marriage…

4. The 72 hour rule . A while back I read this article that I loved about the 72 hour rule. Yep, you guessed it. It’s sex-related. Not that I think you should be counting the hours to meet a quota, or holding each other to it, “Hey it’s been 72 hours so uh….” But it’s something to discuss and keep in mind. I don’t need to tell you the benefits here, I think you get it. Just have more sex! And be the instigator more than the receiver.

5. Men who do housework have more sex. it’s true. women, especially those who are in full custody of your children most of the hours of the day, are tired, disheveled, and down on themselves about something . i generally like myself, but i am always wishing i had more time. more time to spend with my kids, more time to spend with kids AND clean my house… so when he cleans my house, or offers to make dinner, it’s mom porn. and he knows it.
husbands. you know what she would love??
a super hot and sexy clean house. Try it. she’ll thank you for it.

6. The 15 second kiss . i know you are thinking, “so it’s all about sex with you, huh?” no. {well…}this one we just started recently and it might even be my favorite. we read this sweet article recently on a marriage blog and i loved the idea of reconnecting daily. there are days when we come home, make dinner, often side-by-side, tidy up, hose down the kids, and once they get in bed, we flop on the couch and realize we haven’t even said “hi” yet! after i told him about the 15 second kiss, he grabbed me and kissed me for a good 15 seconds. it was sweet, not intended for anything other than that, but it does cause a reconnect. the whirlwind of the day comes to a hault and the phones get set aside, the tv stays off longer, and we remember what’s important in this crazy life. try it. it’s another smile a day… see #3 above. so easy to do, and brings us back home every time.

7. Give each other “me time” .  Everyone, regardless of what it looks like, needs down time. In my husband’s case, I know he needs time every night to do nothing but sit and watch a show. It’s his favorite part of the day, the power-down. it’s what he needs to de-stress and to relax. Not all men are created equal of course, some men need to get out of the house, some need the other guys… but they need their “time” whatever that is for them. What I need? Thirty bucks and a tap on the butt to go get a pedicure for no reason… same concept. {hint hint…}

8. Speak kind words. We were friends with a couple that whenever he turned his back, she was saying awful things about him. It was super awkward for us, and made us wonder how that worked for them. He was constantly saying how amazing she was: gorgeous, talented, and such a hard worker… She was always telling us what he can’t do, what he doesn’t do for her… it was heartbreaking. I love hearing from my husband’s co-workers what they have “heard about me”. It’s proof he speaks well of me and reminds me to do the same.

9. Brag don’t rag . Without fail, every time we have a girls’ night and the girls and I are up laughing about who knows what… it always comes back to “men always…” or “mine does that too!” we laugh a bit about the silly things they say or do, but in reality, mine doesn’t. My husband has never once said the words, “Gosh, I wish you could actually clean the house!” and he’s never once said, “So what did you do all day??” He respects my role here at home and my efforts to bring in extra bacon. And he knows it’s hard. {Besides that I am constantly reminding him it is…} He knows that it is nearly impossible to do it all and chooses to come home and help rather than say anything negative. Smart choice, by the way. {see #5} Whenever he begins a thought with “Can I just say something…?” I am always bracing myself, sure it will be the time he tells me to get my act together and be better and clean the freakin house and don’t look so nasty when I get home please!… but it is ALWAYS to tell me how great of a mom he thinks I am. When he treats me like a 10, I feel like one. And it makes me try harder at all those things.

10. Planned dates . i know you’ve heard this one, but now, more than ever, we are learning this is vital. a planned outing, actually without kids, and some time to not just talk about kids, is necessary. necessary because remember #1? he needs a girlfriend. he doesn’t have a girlfriend if you’re not dating! so get a sitter if you have to, call and ask him out {or send an evite} , but go on a real, “i have a plan and i know where i am going to take you tonight” date. there, i said it. and yes, i know it’s easier said than done…

Source: bigredclifford.com

Relationship

Single But Not Lonely

APPRECIATING BEING SINGLE CAN BE AS DIFFICULT AS SEEING THE FOREST THROUGH THE TREES.

Sometimes it seems like it just can’t happen – especially when you consider yourself to be a “relationship person.” It almost feels like a part of you is missing even though you know that’s absurd logic.
So, instead of beating yourself down for wanting a relationship, focus on taking advantage of the time you have by yourself so you can be 100% ready to roll when you do find your certain special human. Not only will you feel more confident about your current relationship status NOW, but you’ll also be better off LATER.

Here is what to focus on while being single so you can be the best version of yourself once you meet the right person for you:

GET IN THE HABIT OF BEING SELFISH
I said it. Get in the habit of putting yourself first now, because trust me, once a romantic interest comes along, that is going to go flying out the window.
I don’t want you to become some troll who is only out for herself, but I do want you to really focus on asking yourself, “What do I want?” first. When you are in a serious, committed relationship with someone, you have to ask not only what YOU want, but you also have to consider their opinions, desires, and needs. That’s what good relationships are built on. So when you are not in a relationship, take sweet, sweet advantage.

I want you to have a pulse on how you want your state of events to unravel. Instead of “going with the flow” or deferring action to others, take it upon yourself to cultivate some strong opinions. Get a sense of what you like and how you like it. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

If you are already an opinionated missy, then own the fact that you don’t have to put a significant other’s feelings first! This is pure FREEDOM for you. Don’t restrain yourself – get used to speaking your voice and coming into your own. Because once you find somebody you truly love, you will want to soften your voice to let theirs be heard. It’s the considerate and natural thing to do. But for right now, go for it boss babe.

DEVELOP PERSONAL HOBBIES
Other than the dreaded question, “are you seeing anybody?” I would have to say the second most anxiety-provoking question is probably “what do you like to do for fun?”

Ummm. Oh, shit. My life is SUPER boring.
What a buzz kill. It’s mildly humiliating when you don’t have a few go-to answers to this question at your monthly networking events, so now is the time to get going. Everyone needs some personal hobbies. Something to get that creative energy out. Mine happens to be writing (le duh). And writing is a rather solitary activity. It’s all mine. I don’t share the process with anybody, only the results. (This is mostly because editing my work is considered cruel and unusual punishment.)

So what do you like to do that’s all yours?
I want you to come up with a few personal hobbies that you can do all by yourself. It’s ok if the hobby might intrinsically be a social endeavor. For instance, I know a lot of film buffs who proudly say going to the movies is their favorite hobby. Now that is MY kind of hobby! Sitting in a dark theatre and eating popcorn while someone entertains me. None of this hiking bullshit. My favorite kind of people tend to coin this as their favorite hobby, as you can see why.

My only issue with it is when they refuse to go alone.
Have you ever been to a movie alone? It’s amazing. No one wants to sit next to you and no one whispers in your ear “ Oh my God look at Liam Hemsworth” while drooling on your recently purchased faux cashmere sweater. Instead you get pure silence and pure focus. It’s a magical thing.
But robbing of yourself out of that blissful retreat simply because society deems it as a “social engagement”????
No ma’am.
It is beyond me why humans believe that going to a movie should be a social engagement to begin with. Think about it! You just sit there and stare at a screen in silence. Talking to each other during the film is considered to be RUDE. You can literally get kicked out for trying to BE. SOCIAL. It makes zero sense to me. And how people consider that an ok first date is another ridiculous notion, but that’s for another blog.
For right now, let me just say, please do not let being single dictate your hobbies. You are giving way too much power to a society that clearly has some massive flaws.

Point is you deserve to have an individual passion that requires permission from NOBODY to execute. And you will be much better for it when the time comes for you to invite somebody into the space with you. That is, if you want to.

WORK ON YOUR FRIENDSHIPS
This is another negative side effect of relationships: they tend to put a little strain on friendships.
It’s not that your friends all suddenly hate you just because you got a significant other and it’s not because you will start hating your friends, either. It’s because your time will be cut in half.

It starts with the weekends. They’ll bring you to a wedding, you’ll bring them home to meet the parents, then there’s date nights and cuddle nights and Netflix nights…and then, dang. When are you supposed to hang with your friends? You’re still a regular at Bachelor Mondays and Wine Wednesdays, but things just don’t feel the same.
Before I continue, I just have to get this out there:
You are NOT going to lose your friends. I repeat, just because you have a relationship does NOT mean you lose your friends.
You and your friends are going to be pulled apart in different directions even if you were all to stay single your entire lives.

People get jobs and promotions and must move as a result. They decide to go back to their hometowns to settle down. And yes, all of you have a high chance of meeting a special someone. And yes, a lot of you will create an insanely cute yet very time consuming family. Whether those are furbabies or human babies, the time is still stretched. This doesn’t mean that the love you share with your friend group goes away, and it doesn’t mean the time you have together is any less special. But as you get older your schedule will probably get more crowded, so you have to make sure you are spending an inordinate amount of time sealing these friendships for life.
Trap those girls, you hear me? Trap ‘em good.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU’D LIKE TO CHANGE
Again, the amount of free time in your life is going to drastically change when you enter into a serious relationship. I don’t care how independent, feminist, or anti-love you are – that is what happens. You are going to be confronted with a person so perfect that you actually aren’t going to get sick of hanging out with them every single day! I know! It’s seriously crazy.
So in the meantime, get your accomplishment ducks in a row.

Look at your life right now and think about what you would like to change. Do you like your job? Have you been planning on going back to school? Are you ready to take that trip you always said you’d take? Now is the time. It is better to change your life before you start dating someone seriously, because when that happens, you will always want to take them into consideration.

And what about their dreams? Their desires? Their ambitions? What if one of you wants to move to LA while the other one of you is dead set on getting licensure in the state of Texas? THEN WHAT????
(I ache for my 25 year old self.)

It’s hard, guys. It really is. You are a superstar and you are going to end up with a fellow superstar who also has an idea of how their life would like to turn out. Spoiler alert: those visions don’t always line up. This is why compromise exists. But my best advice to give you is to figure your goals out as early as possible while you have the freedom to do so.

Don’t wait for someone else to shape your life. Shape it yourself.
Take away: You are free right now. Free as a bird. As much as I know that might pain you, it is the best gift you could ask for right now at your age. You have the time you need to craft the life you want, and then when you meet the right person, it will feel that much better.

DATE
Not to like, find the one . Not yet. You still have to work to do. But don’t shy away from dating just to date.
Here is my take on dating: it is super intimidating, super nerve-racking, it can be incredibly awkward, and it is a necessity of life.
Think of it this way: you probably don’t like job interviews, but you also probably wanted a job.
And it would have even been smart of you to go on job interviews when you didn’t even really want the job. Why? To practice. To get better at your interviewing skills so when a job you actually WANTED became available, you were ready. Game freaking on.
Same goes for dating. In fact, not only does “practice dating” help for the real deal, it also teaches you to become more selective. If you don’t date, then your dating pool is everybody . And if your dating pool is everybody, you are not going to find the right person for you. Trust me on that. You need to be selective with a capital S before you clear the bench. So go out on a few dates! Enjoy your freedom! Take some notes! See what you like!
And…more importantly, see what you DON’T like.
Take this time to explore.

GETTING FRUSTRATED WITH BEING SINGLE?
It’s totally normal. Just remember however that being
single is a choice and a lot of times, it’s the best choice for you in the moment. The more you own your relationship status, the less insecure you will feel about it. Work with a Blush life coach to make sure you are focusing on BECOMING the person you want, instead of FINDING the person you want.

Kali Rogers

Relationship

The Fine Art of Pretence- IV

TRUST: THE CRUX OF THE MATTER

It is a better compliment to be trusted than to be loved. I read that from John C. Maxwell, and ever since Ive wondered what makes trust such a scarce commodity even in places where love is superabundant.

Now, it seems quite ironical that trust should be central to such a concept as pretence because the two seem to harbour mutual animosity. Im sure, however, that even you reading this would, at one time or the other, have dealt in pretence, prevarication, or  even outright lying to someone just cause you knew they trusted you enough to hang on to your every word. Thus, I dont need to remind you that the trust they had in you was the very reason you got away with that act. 

Right, weve established a connection, so lets begin to cut a little deeper. Ill start by telling you something about myself. Basically, Im a lawbreaker; a lawbreaker in the sense that I learn the rules of my environment just for the purpose of knowing how best to break them and recreate them to suit my preference.

I have this pet aversion for rules because they are, by their very nature, made to be restrictive. But Im of the opinion that rules are made to restore confidence and trust. Have you ever heard that Justice must not only be done, but must also seem to be done? Well, it tells you that justice is essentially a psychological feeling. Forget all the idealistic talk of conscience: most people dont listen to the conscience when theyre determined to do something.

If you reason things out, you discover that rules are set to establish standards upon which justice should be premised. There really is no justice without laid-down rules. Thus, if youre able to pretend to keep the rules, then justice is on your side for as long as it takes to deliver the blow you have been preparing.

Now you see why they say that everything is fair in love and war. In conditions of perfect love or perfect war, the rules mean nothing because no one really gives a damn. Rules are made to be broken; that is a standard fact. Else, why is man so bent on defying every law of nature? Take gravity, for example. Man has been on the go trying to make nonsense of gravity. Aerial vehicles were made and are still being made for this purpose. People travel by air with brazen abandon, secure in the power of the aeroplane, helicopter or jet to shut gravity up for as long as they want. Tell them to try letting an eagle take them so far high.


Dont forget where were coming from. Were saying that trust is essential for pretence to work, and that trust works best where rules are absent or not enforced. We are saying that the necessity of restoring trust, for which rules are made in the first place, is the selfsame reason why those rules must be broken. I dont guard myself when talking with my friend cause I know they cant shoot me, but with a stranger or enemy Im on my guard because the rules for safety and security ensure that I should not give myself away. Remember this: Trust is absolute where rules are unnecessary.

Let me tell you a story from my childhood days. We used to have a house-help who was roundly maltreated by my parents, especially my mum. She thus resorted to self-help: she  would steal from them, lie, and also have illicit dealings with men. One day, she persuaded me to take her into my parents room (it was usually locked, but on this occasion it wasnt) to get something. It was my elder sister who gave us away, and I knew two things for sure. One, being labelled an accomplice to a thief would earn me many strokes of cane. Two, my parents would believe anything I said. (That was then, not now; growing up makes you more crooked.)

What did you go to do there? was my mothers inquisition. I was trying to check my weight on the scales, came the equally swift reply from me, with all the confidence I could muster. Now catch the gist. I dont exactly remember what we took out of that room, but I do know that it had to have been incriminating. My best move was to put up as big a show of confidence and truthfulness as they had always thought of me. Instead of answering the question of what I had gone in there to do, I replied with something else which I also did and kept back my mission.

You know why that incident trips me? I could not have been more than six or seven years old at the time, but I was already learning to bend my way around the rules and regulations of the house by taking advantage of my parents trust. (Kids, dont try this at home!)

As I am writing this chapter something else has just happened that I wish to share with you. Dad and I had discussed plans to give me the key to the penthouse so I could get some items downstairs. True enough, I got the key, retrieved the items, and delivered his key back to him. 

The knot here is…

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Relationship

How To Have A Great Relationship

One of the best pieces of relationship advice I’ve come across goes thus: “A great relationship doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning but how well you continue building love until the end”. Thus, the first step in building a great relationship is finding the right person. As such, in bid to avoid a wrong and abusive relationship, some folks tend to look forward to finding the ‘perfect one’ but as you would have come to learn, this is just a myth.

Hence building great and healthy relationships 
requires the coming together of two ‘imperfect’ people who are ready to make a conscious effort to 
create their own kind of ‘perfect relationship’. Against this backdrop, below are traits that make a great 
relationship.

True Love

Even though it takes more than love to sustain a relationship, true love is still a key factor in sustaining a relationship. Overtime, the word ‘love’ has been used confused with ‘lust’, hence some people have 
given up their hope of finding true love because they found themselves in relationships with people who 
didn’t really love them but just had a lust for them, which unsurprisingly couldn’t stand the test of time. 
Thus, you should know that true love will stand the test of time. True love transcends beauty and other 
physical qualities. Any relationship built on material things without true love would surely collapse. Let 
love lead the way.

Trust

Trust is very vital in sustaining a great relationship. Without trust, there will be gross suspicion capable 
of destroying the relationship. You can never have a great relationship with someone who you cannot 
trust. The fact is that you can trust someone without loving them but you can’t build a great relationship 
with someone you don’t trust. Trusting someone doesn’t necessarily mean you wouldn’t ask them 
certain questions but when asking sensitive questions you must ensure that you don’t send the ‘I don’t 
trust you’ vibe to your partner. Also, trust when broken takes time to heal, so you have to learn to give 
your partner time to learn to trust you in the event that you break their trust at any time.

Effective Communication

Communication in relationships is very important, as without effective communication, there will be lots 
of assumptions and misunderstanding. You both must be able to express yourself in a way that you will 
both understand. Talk plainly, not in parables. Don’t assume your partner knows what you’re thinking 
when you never said anything to him or her. Don’t assume he or she should know what you’re passing 
through. Talk about your plans and visions with your spouse so that you both are able to align your 
goals. Also, remember that your body language is part of communication in relationships. Thus, when 
you apologise for an incidence, also show it with your body language.

Understanding

One recurring theme you’re likely to hear in a marriage counseling session is the word ‘understanding’.
This is the bedrock of building great and healthy relationships because if you understand your spouse
you’re more likely to be accepting of their shortcomings. No couple has exactly the same needs at any
time or feels the same intensity when they do occur. Whether it’s about sexual frequency, social
attachments or family obligations, it is important that you do not invalidate the desires of your partner.
In other words, understanding each other helps you to have respect and honour for unequal desires.
Understanding your partner also helps you to trust them better as well as avoid allowing seemingly little
issues lead to a mountain of problems. This factor can also bridge any form of communication gap, as
some partners who are introverts may tend to struggle with be open always. However, when you
understand your spouse, you would appreciate his or her uniqueness as well as be patient with them.

Forgiveness

According to Mark Twain, a man known for writing good relationship quotes, forgiveness is the
fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. Thus, it’s important to note that no
matter how much you both love and care for each other, times will come when you will offend each
other and have some form of disagreement over issues. You should know that holding a grudge against
someone can be a very heavy burden and you’re just going to be hurting yourself. This factor is one of
the major pieces of relationship advice handed down to couples during relationship counseling sessions.
Learn to discuss and settle differences. Discuss not argue. Don’t hold on to past errors and mistakes. No
one is above errors. Having an unforgiving attitude leads to bitterness, strife, hatred, and lack of trust,
which are all great relationship killers and create room for an abusive relationship. It is important to
note that bitter relationships never get better.

One of the most commonly asked relationship questions during marriage counseling and relationship
counseling sessions is the issue of what makes for a great relationship. It’s often said that sometimes we
don’t choose whom we love but we choose whom we stay in love with. Thus, fostering a great
relationship requires constant efforts from both parties in a relationship.

Relationship

What Does Love Mean To You

Love means a lot of things to a lot of people but have you ever asked yourself what love means to you? How do you show love  and to whom do you show love? We been taught about love languages but its application seems to be limited to romantic love and love shown to someone you know but we were not born to love only those we know, we also have the capacity  to love even those that we don’t know.

 Practically ,I think the best example of love was shown by God who sent his ‘ONLY’ son to die for a world of people who cared more or less about him. God didn’t specify who Jesus should die for, rather He sent Jesus to die for all and sundry. Even Jesus, with  all the things that men did to him, still decided to let his life down for men, both those he knew and those he didn’t know? What greater way to show love than this? A young man once said the true measure of a man’s character is how he treats people he doesn’t know and not how he treats people he knows.

It will surprise you to find out that many folks  do not know what love means. A friend of mine once defined love as ‘a feeling you feel when you feel you’ve not felt a feeling like that before’. Someone once said there’s no magic in the world as great as the magic of love. Love really can be defined in a thousand ways.

One question  I ask myself is how do we fall in love? What makes us fall in love? Contrary to popular view,  there’s no such thing called ‘Love at first sight. It’s a very big lie. What many people  experience is really called infatuation. Now what is infatuation? Oxford dictionary defines it as “an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something”. Also, urban dictionary defines it as “people thinking they are in love but when indeed it is just a deep lust or like for another person”. Unlike love which sees  a person’s flaws and still accepts the person that way, infatuation doesnt even recognise the flaw, at least in most cases. How in the world do you expect to fall in love with someone on your first sight? Now this doesnt mean infatuation is an evil thing or it cant grow into love. Certainly, you can grow to love the person with time. 

So then, falling in love is a gradual process that takes time and understanding. People who have been married for a long time still get to fall in  love with each other as time goes on because no matter how hard you try, you can never know everything about a person. Sometimes, we do not choose who we fall in love with but we have the power to choose who we stay in love with. In other words, we may not have the power to control how we feel but we sure have the power to control how we react to those feelings. I’ve found myself stuck in love with an ex-lover. It seemed  to me as though I couldn’t just  help loving her, despite all the things she did to me but I realised that I had the power to control my attitude to those feelings. So I decided that I may love her, I may think about her but I will not contact her and I will keep a good distance between us. Yes, I had the power to do that. In other words,we choose who we show love to.

 Today would not be complete if you don’t show love to someone you don’t know.Show love to that person in need. Remember love is patient, Love is kind and Love is felt most when its genuine. Show that special person genuine love!!!

Relationship

What Next After the Trust is Broken 

If you broke your arm, one hour wouldn’t pass before you got the right team in place to start its healing. Yet, when our marriage is broken we often keep the pain hidden from those around us.  Shame and disappointment keep us from reaching out, so we shoulder the burden alone.

If you want to heal from this, you both need help. Counseling is necessary if you want to work through the fracture.  The numbers show that when a couple seeks counseling, over 90% feel positive about the steps forward, however measured. Those steps, in turn, act as the first movement toward reconciliation.

To start, the partner who cheated must confront the parts of her that are broken.  The infidelity reflects a lack of self love or an insatiable need for outside validation.  Her brokenness could have brought about this betrayal in your marriage, but if you want to save it, you both must find a way forward together. Seeking an outside, neutral perspective will guide you through the pain.

If there is still love between you, reach for a counselor, reach for your friends, but most importantly–reach out to save it.  Now.

Relationship

6 Cute Things To Say To Your Partner 

Saying “I love you” can become a form of punctuation in a long-term relationship. People say it at the end of a phone call, or on their way out the door, or as they’re falling asleep at night. And there’s nothing wrong with this. Expressing love often is a good thing! And it’s a nice way to check in with your partner each day — or multiple times a day.

Except that when you say it so often, the phrase can become a cliche. How often do you say those three words, “I love you,” without stopping to think about the fact that you love this person? Most of the time, right? Again, there’s nothing wrong with this. We’re all busy. We have jobs to do, Facebook statuses to update, weeds to pull, mail to open, s*x to have. If we paused to consider what it means to love someone every time we said “I love you,” we’d never have time to shop for groceries.

That all said, sometimes it’s nice to stop and actually think about how much your partner means to you. So here are 10 things you can say to your partner to convey this — words that are much harder to recite without thinking about what they really mean. Especially the parts that make you blush. Just don’t use them all up in one day!

1. You’re very hot.

That sneaky swear word is there to say: I’m so overwhelmed by how good-looking you are that only an f-bomb will truly convey my feelings.

2. You just made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants.
OK, maybe skip the pee mention. But you get the idea. Fortunately, for long-term monogamous couples, a sense of humor doesn’t droop in the same way an aging man-hood or aging b**bs do. Still, it’s easy to forget how funny your partner is. This is a reminder to take the time to make each other laugh… and to appreciate it when it happens.

3. I love your body.

When’s the last time you said something like this to your partner? Sure, they know you love them, but do they know you still lust after their body? Stare and ogle all you like — at some point in a relationship, thia starts to feel like a compliment

4. I love watching you run/give a speech/play an instrument/take a photograph.

Standing back and admiring your partner is a way to increase the er*tic distance between the two of you… and to remind you and your partner what it was like when you two met, and you each thought the other was the bee’s knees.

5. You look even better now than when I met you.
Because aging gets everyone down. Even better if you can be specific: Find something about your partner that has improved with age — a leaner face, perhaps? a more muscular torso? — and compliment them on that.

6. I love you more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.

We like the specificity of this. It’s not just that you love your partner more than you used to- it’s that today you actually sat down and thought about the fact your love for your partner grew overtime.

Relationship

Friendzoning: Give Me All or Let me Go

I had a conversation with a friend of mine recently. We covered a whole lot of subjects, you know, trying to fill each other in on the months lost. And as a lovaholic, i inquired about her love life and her response was: “don’t mind that boy jare, he  thinks I’m still that little girl he tutored for JAMB.” Apparently, my friend had some slight difficulty passing jamb at first attempt, so her well-meaning parents got her this handsome corps member(at that time) to help beat some chemistry equations into her head. Whether it was his good looks or his teaching skills, I do not know, all I know is she passed jamb very well, read a pretty cool course and graduated successfully plus she is a beauty to behold and yet our dear brother hasn’t made a move yet.

I tried probing further to find out what the exact problem was, after a while of what I like to term as “the lovaholic’s interrogation”  I found out that my dear friend had been friend-zoned. Was I surprised, yes of course, back then in school, it was almost as if they were dating, I mean they chatted for hours on end so cheerfully and always involved each other on major decisions of their lives. In fact we felt the reason he hadn’t said the magic words yet was that she was married to her books. Being a very mushy person I had their lives planned out already, from their wedding color combo to her wedding dress to how many children they would have, in fact I had everything planned out. Did I forget to mention how much she loves this guy, I mean the love she has for this guy she just like a copied assignment she just can’t explain it.That serious?, so why hasn’t he given her “THE FULL BAE’S BENEFITS” yet?, that I do not know, but what I told her I shall tell you.

You know some people in our lives will never realize we are the “best boo material” around until they are kicked into that realization. And by “kicked into realization” I don’t mean asking pathetic questions like: “who am I to you” or “it actually time you made this official”, you actually have a right to know where you stand but taking this approach will only lead to either of these two things, losing a potential relationship (if he or she is interested in you romantically) or a friendship (if he or she isn’t interested in you romantically) or even both.

I realized from experience that majority of people caught up in this kind of situation have one problem, which is, they give too much without receiving anything in return. They usually have an overbearing and choking attitude they tag as love which has taken the respect out of their friendship and all they are seen as is a problem solver and nothing more, the exact reason why they can be called up at 12 mid-night to fix a spoilt bulb without much consideration given to their emotions or how inconveniencing that can be for them at that time, these set of persons almost always oblige to such demands with the hope that those they do it for will one day come around to see they deserve the tittle “bae” which almost never happens because humans in general often take for granted people they get on a platter of gold or people who are readily available to clean up their mess, if you doubt my theory simply rate your respect for your tissue on a scale of 1-10 and be truthful about it. Make yourself desirable by not always being at their beck and call, scape out those excesses you call “acts of love” until there is a commitment, if you keep giving them “THE FULL BOO’S BENEFIT” then there won’t be a need for them to step up.

No matter how much you try, some people would just not find you desirable. If this is the case, move on, someone who will appreciate you will surely find you. Remember you are searching for “the one” and not “them one”. Just keep developing yourself.

For all ye “friend-zoners” the lord is watching you all in 3d oh! Repent oh! (lol)

Relationship

How To Know When You’re In Love

Love is a very intense feeling and everyone has either been in love with someone or been loved by someone. For many people its both ways. However, many people don’t really know what love is? The word has just become an ordinary cliche. People have tended to confuse infatuation or lust for love. 

Often times, love enters our lives without us searching for it. It might even surprise you to find affection for someone else stirring in your heart. When you grow in a relationship, you might even be eager to jump into marriage before knowing all you should about yourself and being in love. There are three questions you should ask yourself to uncover if you are truly in love.

1. Does the person you love make you want to be a better version of yourself?
A partnership should make both people stronger. With that in mind, if you are in love, you will scrutinize the kind of person you are. It’s natural to want to show your partner the best version of yourself. You might try to be more patient, more open, more giving. That evolution of your better self, happens when you are in love.

2. When you think of the future, are they in it?
When life is going well, planning for the future can be fun. It’s even better when you are doing it with someone you want to share that time with. Are you making plans with the person you love? Not just dates or romantic weekends away, but solid aspirations. When you think of marriage, children, and the other major events you have on the horizon, what role does your partner play? It the answer is not one at all, you aren’t in love.

3. Are their priorities and dreams becoming yours as well?
A relationship is made up of two different people with different experiences who come together with mutual feelings. Those feelings mean more than love. You’re not in love if you haven’t had a melding of each other’s principles. A relationship needs to have a common belief structure. The partner’s dreams should become yours and their priorities should blend with yours to create a shared belief system.

Even if you aren’t in love now, it doesn’t mean that your time won’t come. Being in love is one of the greatest, most complicated, and most incredible relationships you will have. Now that you know what to look for to know you are in love, it will be that much easier to spot when it enters your life.